Kim Neve received his B.A. in 1979 from Dana College, in Blair, Nebraska, and entered the Psychobiology graduate program at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from UCI in 1984, then spent 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Perry Molinoff in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1987 he was hired as a research pharmacologist at the Portland VA Medical Center, with appointments as assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology. Neve joined the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience in 1995, and rose to the rank of professor in 1998.
Summary of Current Research
Research in the Neve lab is broadly concerned with the function of the brain dopamine system. We use genetically modified dopamine receptors expressed in cells in culture and in mouse brain to explore the effects of dopamine, therapeutic drugs, and abused substances on the receptors and the role of the receptors in dopamine-dependent behaviors. An example of this work is our utilization of in vitro mutagenesis to investigate the interactions of dopamine D2 receptors with agonists and signaling pathway, another is our use of virus-mediated expression of dopamine receptors in vivo to normalize behavior in dopamine receptor knock-out mice. The techniques that we use in these investigations include co-expression and biochemical analysis of a variety of signal transduction molecules (wildtype and mutant receptors, G proteins, effector enzymes), metabolic labeling and immunoprecipitation, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and mouse behavioral assays for the rewarding and aversive properties of abused drugs.